You are feeling low on motivation and not in control of the course of your life. You are tired much of the time and somewhere inside you have a feeling you are missing your calling, but you don’t know what exactly it is. This feeling persists and drains you bit by bit.
Your personal impact on your surroundings feels insignificant. You wonder how one person can have an impact on the world. “If I stop using plastic straws, that doesn’t mean the environment is saved.” You’re struggling to believe that you alone can make a significant difference.
You wish you could display more courage and resilience. Something goes wrong and you feel deflated and down. You feel insecure as a result and you don’t have the desire or confidence to try again for fear of failing
You sometimes have the feeling that you’re running into the same obstacles over and over. You feel a lot of social pressure and judgement from others. You want to “be yourself” but social pressure dictates your behavior. If you don’t comply, you feel judged: “My child can’t go to school in un-ironed clothes, people will think I’m a bad parent. Many of my conflicts have the same feel.
You haven’t had “fun” in a long time. Your life is full of obligations and responsibilities. Free time is not spent on what you want to do but what you should do. Fun is a luxury and considered frivolous.
You are putting in a lot of effort and are not achieving the results you want. You don’t understand why because you believe you are following all the steps.
You’re feeling behind in life. You can’t seem to catch up or catch a break. It’s disappointing and overwhelming.
You have more potential. You know this. You feel in your bones that you have a lot to offer to the world. Vision, talents, love, and light somehow aren’t coming out. This leaves you disappointed and it’s eating at you. You want to be your best self but you just don’t know how.
You feel, especially in your free time, that your life is not what it could or should be. The deepest part of yourself, your soul is crying out for more, while slowly dying.
You become very jealous or competitive with others success. This is often the first sign that you’re focused outside yourself rather than looking inside. You’re feeling as though you should have what others have. Your attitude is becoming jaded and cynical.
You feel empty, as if something is missing in your life. When you aren’t invested with your purpose or your passion you end up feeling as though you don’t really matter. You feel replaceable or insignificant. You no longer feel joy or enthusiastic about what you’re contributing
You feel more stressed and more irritable. You aren’t living a life that is fulfilling for you. It’s a constant irritation. You think about it often, and you react with irritability and frustration.
You’re unhappy even when you’re supposed to be happy
You’re driving a nice car. Your numbers topped the department again. Your colleagues admire you and your boss adores you. But for some reason, the luster of success doesn’t seem to stick. It’s just you being great at something you secretly wish was something else.
You wonder if this is all there is to life.
Ask yourself, if everything has to end tomorrow — like a giant asteroid crashing into Earth and shutting everything and everyone down — how would you feel?
Dying’s a lot worse than it is if you have unfinished business. Would you be screaming like Mel Gibson in Braveheart when they were doing carpentry to his bits?
Or would you have a visibly contented smile like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty?
You start to admire people you never thought you would
One rather distinguished gentleman was watching a street busker perform an emotional rendition of “Stand by me”. He leaned over to me, a complete stranger, and said in a cracked voice, “I wish I had the courage to do that when I was young.”
If you spend your life on the wrong things, it’s easy to spot and admire someone who are spending their life doing the right thing for them.
Many of us struggle through life not because we’re unsuccessful in what we do. We struggle with being successful at something we settled for as a way of life.
This could be for a variety of reasons: financial needs, an avoidance of change, or the expectations of others. But when we settle for a life smaller than what our potential, we’re missing out on the joy of living.
Pope John XXIII offers an alternative: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
Nobody has written the instruction manual to life. Maybe it would be easier if everything was clearly laid out for us to follow. But it could also make life completely unlivable.
Only you know your potential and your dreams. If you ever get a wake-up call in life, don’t hit the snooze button.